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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.




    Balancing your job with music
    By Louis Lamp

    Some lessons can be taught. Some are better learned through experience. Some lessons aren't learned at all. We all have something that could fit in each of these areas.

    Balancing your job with music (for those musicians who qualify in the 'don't quit your day job' category) is something we need to be professional at. Especially if our music careers aren't yet self- sufficient.

    There are several areas that require a balance of some sort, and planning ahead is one of your biggest responsibilities. Balance (of some sort) must be achieved at least financially and with time management, beyond that there are also emotional and other considerations.

    First, the money. No business starts or continues to operate for free. If you hold a day job, you have four major considerations (plus more that may apply specifically to you - remember to add them). They are: Family/Personal needs (bills, car payments, food, life necessities, non-necessities, gambling and drinking, etc). Personal Retirement needs: If you're not saving up for retirement, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Ways in which to do this (which it is possible to save up for it, even in this business), can be found all over the place. Free advice is worth as much as it costs, and everyone has a different opinion. Educate yourself. The third is your music business. Any money that you spend on travel, equipment, and anything else relating to getting your music heard, goes here. The last one (which may only apply for certain day-jobs) is Occupation needs. These are things like uniforms and equipment that you have to replace, or purchase, or anything else that you spend out of your own pocket, relating to work.

    Here is an example:
    1: Retirement (pay yourself first)
    2: Family/Personal Needs
    3: Music

    4: Occupational

    Prioritize in a way that is right for you. If you come up with a blank, or feel that you don't know what's right, then break each one down, and start looking at pro's and con's.

    There are times where the order gets changed, but generally, planning for the future takes priority. In the future, there will be youngins to send to college, retirement to pay for (dont count on Social Security), medical bills and more. Next up is to ensure that you have food in your mouth and a shelter over your head (this includes your family and anyone else you care for). Music comes before occupation because it is likely one of your passions in life, and also, your employer should be able to provide nearly everything for your line of work (unless your self-employed in your 'day job' as well - this article is assuming you work for someone else).

    Actually balancing the money is unique to your situation. Go over your financial plan frequently and set possible goals. If you set a lofty goal, then be sure to substantiate it, to include 'how you are going to get there'. How much money you should put into each area is up to you, and some areas have obligations that you can't change. You can, however, ask others for advice.

    Next up, time management. There are a few things to look at here - vacation time, as well as your daily routine.

    Paid vacation time is a gem if you have it, and if so, you can use it (much more freely than unpaid vacation time) for collaboration with artists elsewhere in the world, or for doing a short tour, or even just doing the back office work of your business. If you don't get vacation time, you can still ask for large amounts of time off. This option isn't recommended, unless your employer supports your music career, and that your job is not put in any jeapordy whatsoever by being gone for weeks or months at a time.

    Most jobs tend to have designated shifts. Taking care of music work and personal and family needs at the same time is always difficult, and is most easily done during time off, in most cases. If you have one of those jobs where you don't have much to do, and your employer doesn't have a problem with it, use their computers and internet access (if you have it) to get your online work done.

    Do it Yourself vs. paying Someone Else (or hiring a friend). This also goes into time management. How much DIY is too much? When you're struggling to attain 4 hours of regular sleep each night. While this little tidbit of advice isn't great, it's often best to evaluate your performance and find out what takes up the most of your time, that you could possibly trust someone else to do. As a side-note, if you have a band (and am not a soloist, like me), use your band members if you can. Find friends that might be willing to help promote your album. Back to the train of thought - anything from sending emails, writing news letters and press releases, radio promotion, web promotion, website creation/maintenance, maintaining current profiles on sites such as Sonicbids, are some things that you may be able to get some help with.

    Last but not least, emotional stuff. This is an area that I know squat about, so instead of spouting things I think I know about this area, I leave it to you to educate yourself on that. I may do a future article either about money or stress... just be on the lookout.

    So, now that I'm done with the advice part, here's my news, in brief:

    Amazon.com is the latest online retailer to add Louis Lamp's debut album, An Open Mind, to their 'shelves'. Go buy it now!

    An Open Mind is available for download on Paradice Net (www.paradice.net). The files are provided by Weedshare, and you can listen to it for free three times. Try before you buy.

    Paradice Net has gotten a facelift, and is now better suited for management of several ongoing projects, but still has a long way to go. Leave us feedback!

    Need a place to stick a link to your band's website? Looking for music by genre? Register and submit your site's link at Paradice Net today!

    # # # That about covers it. This article was originally written for publication in the EvO:R Street Journal, though you may have seen it, elsewhere.



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    ESJ is looking for writers/poets for our next issues. All work is appreciated and will be published (with the exception of articles containing racism, bigotry or other demeaning topics) Also, this is a PG-13 rating and will be censored if you do not edit it. Please e-mail The EvO:R Street Journal.
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